View Full Version : My child is always wound up after school


katherine4
08-09-17, 11:06 AM
Hi,

My 8 year old daughter hasn't been formally diagnosed with ADHD, but she does have many of the features so I strongly suspect it. My question is about her state after school each day. She is almost always "wound up" (not sure how else to describe it). I always have her play on the playground after school thinking that that will help, and I never enroll her in structured activities because I think that's the last thing she needs. But she is still often very wound up all the way up to bedtime. Communicating with her is difficult when she's in this state, she can't seem to sit still or engage in a give and take conversation at dinner, and she's usually restless at bedtime. Transitions are very difficult because she hyperfocuses on what she's doing.

For the past 3 weeks this summer, she hasn't had any structured day time activities on the schedule. It's been relaxed around here and she's much calmer as a result. Part of this, I know, is the fact that there's been very little pushing on my part to get ready for camp/school, to do homework, etc. We've also done an experiment with her diet and cut out processed foods and sugar. But my hunch is that it's the structured school day and the demands that go along with getting there and being there that in some way wind her up to the point that she can't be calm and relaxed afterwards.

I'm looking for some insight into this. Does this sound familiar to other parents of ADHD kids? How do you explain this and is there anything to be done about it?

Thank you very much for reading!!

Katheine

Caco3girl
08-09-17, 11:33 AM
Sorry, not familiar over here. I have a 15 and 8 year old with ADHD. Structure is what helps them, lack of structure is when they go wild. I would recommend the Gummy Melatonins for night time though, freaking miracle worker!

mildadhd
08-09-17, 01:52 PM
I wonder how much unsupervised peer orientation, trying to keep up in school, academically and socially, etc, has to do with your daughters anxiety in the evening?

I did not realize when I was young, but I was struggling a lot academically and socially that led to anxiety, depression and addiction.

When I became a parent I decided I was going to help my son address any social issues by always keeping our relationship first and foremost, and not allow any unsupervised peer orientation, until he was a young adult.

I never want him to be scared of me, I told him I want him to know that he can tell me anything without worrying I will get mad.

My son is a young adult now and we are closer than ever, he has learned to make so many better choices than I did at that age.


M

katherine4
08-09-17, 01:59 PM
Thanks for your replies!

I'm always with my daughter on the playground after school, and I intervene when necessary so she's not unsupervised. She does have social issues, but I'm not sure that is what is contributing to the wound up state I'm trying to describe. I wouldn't call it anxiety or nervousness, not as I typically think of anxiety. It's like a physical/mental state that is the opposite of a calm relaxed state and it exists whether or not she's had a good day or bad.

Thank you for trying to help!!

mildadhd
08-09-17, 05:41 PM
Thanks for your replies!

I'm always with my daughter on the playground after school, and I intervene when necessary so she's not unsupervised. She does have social issues, but I'm not sure that is what is contributing to the wound up state I'm trying to describe. I wouldn't call it anxiety or nervousness, not as I typically think of anxiety. It's like a physical/mental state that is the opposite of a calm relaxed state and it exists whether or not she's had a good day or bad.

Thank you for trying to help!!

Your welcome!

I think it is great that you are trying to help reduce the distress in your daughters life.

Wish I could have helped more.

It is hard to help because I do not personally know you or your daughter.

Has your daughter had the same hyperactive behavior before she started going to school?

I would discuss your questions with your doctor.



M

katherine4
08-09-17, 06:59 PM
I can't remember this exact type of behavior prior to the start of school. But she's always had trouble settling down. When she was an infant, for example, she never peacefully drifted off to sleep. She would kick and fuss til the last moment and then suddenly conk out.

My hunch is that the wound-up behavior i see now is the result of over stimulation. It's as though she's mentally processed so much over the course of the day that her nervous system is on high alert and can't unplug. I don't know.

Thanks again!!

Lunacie
08-09-17, 07:57 PM
If your daughter does well at school and at camp, then she may be using all her
ability to self-control there and she has none left by the time you pick her up.

Another factor could be if she doesn't much lunch she could be hangry (combo
of hunger and behavior), so a quick snack could be helpful.

katherine4
08-09-17, 08:18 PM
I think that's probably part of it, Lunacie. The self control that's required during the day leaves her spiraling in the afternoon/evening. Thanks for the feedback!

Caco3girl
08-10-17, 08:50 AM
Sports have been very helpful to my kids. It isn't just the physical exertion it's the structure and pattern of knowing what is expected. You always have to run to first when you hit the ball. You always have to do the cheer the SAME way. There is no room for variation. My kids do very very well in sports. My 15 year old has some form of sport or activity for his sport roughly 5 days a week. My 8 year old has it 3 days a week.

mildadhd
08-10-17, 05:31 PM
We were lucky because we lived close enough to the school, that we could come home, relax for a couple hours, then go back to the school yard after supper. (What ever my son wanted to do)

My son could throw and kick a football really good, but he decided he was not into organized sports.

He would laugh so hard when I chased him, it was contagious.

For us it was about time spending together.





M

sarahsweets
08-11-17, 05:42 AM
There are some sensory issues that can accompany adhd imo. I know there may not be anything official on it, but its been my experience with my third child. My kids all have adhd, as well as their father and I. My son has always seemed to have it the "worst" as far as impulsiveness and hyperactivity goes and he still is like that. (he is 21 now). My 17 year old has always seemed to have it the "worst" with impulsiveness and has always been that way. The danger now is she is a teenager now when impulsive decisions have major consequences. My third daughter is 13, almost 14. She has always seemed to lean towards inattentive but since she was a baby she has always had difficulty changing directions, and when she was little she played certain things a certain way and got very fixated on things. I used to wonder if she had sensory integration disorder or even asbergers but neither of those quite fit which is why my "theory" of being easily overly stimulated is something I wonder is a possibility with some adhd kids. She cant do carnivals, the lights noise and people overwhelm here. She is very social and deals with people just fine but cant stand rule breaking and kids who do it around her bothers her. She reaches her max with certain social situations or vacations or holidays or what not and needs to retreat, and she is completely comfortable with just going upstairs to bed. She likes routine but isnt so rigid anymore. Routine helps quell her anxiety. My son's life was literally saved with meds but my two girls could never tolerate them much to my dismay so they have their own coping skills. Maybe she is so worn out after the constant stimulation of school she doesnt know what to do with herself. Sort of like overtired babies?

katherine4
08-11-17, 01:51 PM
Thank you for your thoughts! I've always thought that her being outside was essential to her ability to wind down, and in many ways I still think that's very important, but it doesn't seem to counter her wound up state.

Sarahsweets, I know there are sensory issues with my daughter. She's always been touchy about the clothes she wears and she doesn't have a good sense of physical boundaries. (She's 8.5 years old and I still have to remind her sometimes not to body slam me when she gives me a hug.) Even when she was a baby she was very alert to what was going on around her, so I think she does take in a lot throughout the day. But if that is the issue, and she's totally overstimulated to the point where she can't shift to a more relaxed state, what can I do about that? I would say she's a good candidate for homeschooling because then she wouldn't be taxed by the structure and stimulation of the school day, but she's a social person and an only child and she really likes going to school most of the time.

Not sure what the answer is but I really appreciate all of you weighing in!!! It feels good to communicate with people who have similar struggles. So thank you very much!!!

Katherine

mildadhd
08-11-17, 04:51 PM
Thank you for your thoughts! I've always thought that her being outside was essential to her ability to wind down, and in many ways I still think that's very important, but it doesn't seem to counter her wound up state.

Sarahsweets, I know there are sensory issues with my daughter. She's always been touchy about the clothes she wears and she doesn't have a good sense of physical boundaries. (She's 8.5 years old and I still have to remind her sometimes not to body slam me when she gives me a hug.) Even when she was a baby she was very alert to what was going on around her, so I think she does take in a lot throughout the day. But if that is the issue, and she's totally overstimulated to the point where she can't shift to a more relaxed state, what can I do about that? I would say she's a good candidate for homeschooling because then she wouldn't be taxed by the structure and stimulation of the school day, but she's a social person and an only child and she really likes going to school most of the time.

Not sure what the answer is but I really appreciate all of you weighing in!!! It feels good to communicate with people who have similar struggles. So thank you very much!!!

Katherine

I can't relate to your daughters "wound up" behavior as it is being described.

I would see your doctor and they could test for AD(H)D, diabetes, and other conditions that might mimic AD(H)D.

I want to try Temple Grandin's squeeze machine, in regards to sensory arousal.






M

sarahsweets
08-12-17, 05:56 AM
Thank you for your thoughts! I've always thought that her being outside was essential to her ability to wind down, and in many ways I still think that's very important, but it doesn't seem to counter her wound up state.

Sarahsweets, I know there are sensory issues with my daughter. She's always been touchy about the clothes she wears and she doesn't have a good sense of physical boundaries. (She's 8.5 years old and I still have to remind her sometimes not to body slam me when she gives me a hug.) Even when she was a baby she was very alert to what was going on around her, so I think she does take in a lot throughout the day. But if that is the issue, and she's totally overstimulated to the point where she can't shift to a more relaxed state, what can I do about that? I would say she's a good candidate for homeschooling because then she wouldn't be taxed by the structure and stimulation of the school day, but she's a social person and an only child and she really likes going to school most of the time.

Not sure what the answer is but I really appreciate all of you weighing in!!! It feels good to communicate with people who have similar struggles. So thank you very much!!!

Katherine

Something else I thought of with my son, who is 21 now but still has the maturity of a 17 year old. He has always been very tactile and sensory aware. When he was classified in school, he uses things like a weighted vest, and fidget, a grippy sort of writing instrument and gum, hard candies and crunchy snacks. Having something in his mouth and having his mouth working actually helped him to focus better.